Tuesday, February 10, 2009

[A] snap back to reality...

About this time last year, I started up my mileage build-up for Spring/Summer races. Since the build-up last year, I have run nearly 6000 miles (averaging 18 miles a day, everyday). About this time, this year (in a word, now), my body is telling me that it is time to rest. The daily twanginess and nightly cramping of my left knee has hit critical mass. I worked through my runner's knee at the start of the new year and thought myself free and clear and ready to run hard... but alas! I cannot pretend away the pain any longer, the pain is back and the only sure remedy is rest. It is nothing serious - I have been down this road many times before. It is an over-use injury. The solution? less use. 

Admittedly, I am a stubborn, immature, overzealous runner. These are all descriptors that I am working to curve. The problem lies in my head and heart and had firmly manifested itself in my passion for running. NO LONGER will I punish my running life - it is unfair to the sport and disruptive to the rest of my life - by training hastily. Undoubtedly, I have matured significantly in the last year in my approach to running, adding structure to my training. The problem? No rest... and too many deviations from that structure:

- Taking easy runs at a dishonest, moderate pace.
- Running on tired legs for about 7 months, thinking that that was a good training practice (maybe for how to deal with pain, but not for increasing fitness).
- 2 runs a day, everyday.

All of this being said, in retrospect I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have learned so much about myself -  my virtues, my vices, my limits, my abilities. All of the running over the last several years has helped me to appreciate the distances that my body is able to cover and when I come back to training this Spring I will still have that training with me. I am a new person. 

No serious changes in my Spring training plan, but there is going to be a bit of a break between now and then (the end of February, early March) - my original plan was to maintain my mileage load through the winter. Silly! Ridiculous! My body needs a rest. My lifestyle needs a change. I need to prove to myself that I can live without running running my  life. Balance must be restored! I have been out of balance for several years, to be sure, and I am wise enough to know that moments of perfect homeostasis possess the smaller part of the fleeting nanosecond; that true peace, balance and life exists only with my Lord and Savior (one glad morning when this life is o'er). But... I do believe that God is constantly pushing us, leading us, counseling us, on how to live the most balanced, harmonious life possible on Earth. We rise! Grow! Rise Higher! Never look back, always look up... loving and learning, growing and caring.

I have much to learn and feel ever so young this day. The closer we come to Divine Truth the younger, more immature, sillier we become in that humbling moment of exposure. This is my moment, this is my humbling moment of complete and total exposure. So much to learn... 

The world this afternoon was not the world that I woke up to this morning. Everything looks and feels different. The world feels new, not necessarily in a new toy on Christmas day sort of way, but rather there appears to be more texture on this planetary orb. Truthfully, it is a move from looking at myself towards looking at others. Worrying less about myself and thinking more about others.

It is off to the day. Snap back to reality.

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